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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
When Addie realizes her oldest daughter is living a waking nightmare of mental illness, she fights to support Seri without neglecting her youngest child, while maintaining a healthy marriage. This ambitious undertaking backfires in multiple ways as Seri listens to the Voice in her head telling her that she is the cause of everything wrong in her world. She sees her parents moving further and further apart and her sister’s needs increasingly neglected. If she no longer existed, her parents would love one another again, her younger sister Ivy would get the attention she deserved, and the Voice would leave her in peace. Following an unspeakable act of life-altering selfishness, Seri realizes that her mental health can be controlled and life is not destined for darkness. As her parents fight to balance the family’s dynamics, Seri fights her demons, and Ivy fights for her life.
The One We Forgot To Love by Sandy Totten describes the situation and questions whether the family can overcome the odds in this realistic story. The One We Forgot To Love pulls at the heartstrings of any and every parent raising teenagers. Totten explores the genuine issue of teen depression in this page-turner. As a former public educator and parent of a depressed teen, I attest to the reality portrayed in this novel. The narrative flows smoothly in a variety of character voices as each perspective is present. I cannot classify this story as strictly adult or teen reading, as it addresses both levels of interest and readability.